V.A.12. Matt-painted jug with heavy banded frieze filled in with small swimming birds
The upper half of this vessel could be reconstructed from fragments but the lower half has either not been found or still remains unrecognised.
As a rule only the upper sections of matt-painted vessels carry decoration, which makes it very difficult to reconstruct the lower sections as these consist of plain shards that are almost identical for each pot.
The vessel has a slightly convex, conical neck as is common for pottery from the Middle Geometric period. This date is confirmed by the rather narrow transition from rim to neck and by the presence of a band with attached dots which encircles this transitional zone.
Aquatic birds occur rather frequently as a motif on the pots produced by the local pottery workshops near the Timpone della Motta (compare also Museum nos. //).
The same motif is also found on vessels in northern Oenotria and in the region of Taranto.
Archaeologists developed a hypothesis that water fowl may have been sacred to the Oenotrians, and this hypothesis is strengthened by their frequent occurrence as a motif in the sanctuary of the Timpone della Motta (on a loom weight, cf. no. IV.B.3.; as bronze pendants, cf. no. I.A.3; and more frequently on pottery, nos./// ).
The small crosshatched squares alternating with the birds in the frieze are intriguing. We propose that they may indicate the natural environment of the birds, representing reeds or vegetation in general.
The object comes from the Scavi Kleibrink 1991-2004 on the Acropolis of the Timpone della Motta, and is associated with the ash layer south of the altar. It is now in the National Archaeological Museum, Sibari.